The best players never to have won a major

Published:

So who’s the new BPNTHWAM?

Ten PGA Tour and 13 European Tour wins ranked Sergio Garcia as the most successful golfer still active on the professional circuit to have never won a Major. But after 18 years of waiting, two runner-up nishes and 73 attempts, El Nino finally broke his Major duck at Augusta in April.

In doing so, the Spaniard has shed the one title no-one wants, that of the Best Player Never To Have Won A Major (who is still active on the main Tours). Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson vacated the list last year, meaning a new heir to the title is up for grabs for the third time in 12 months.

We waded through the history books to find out who is most deserving of golf’s most unwanted tag.


LEE WESTWOOD

Lee Westwood

Age: 44
                      
European Tour wins: 23

Major appearances: 76
         
Major top- five finishes: 11

Best Masters: 2nd/T2 (2010, 16)
Best US Open: 3rd/T3 (2008, 11) 
Best Open: 2nd (2010)
          
Best US PGA: T3 (2009) 

We’d say Westy is probably now the Best Golfer Never to Have Won a Major. The former World No.1 has finished at least third in all four of golf’s biggest events, missing just 18 cuts along the way. He also holds the record for the most top- three finishes at Majors without winning one.


RICKIE FOWLER

Rickie Fowler

Age:
28
                        
European Tour wins: 2          
PGA Tour wins: 4
Major starts: 22
               
Major top- five finishes: Six

Best Masters: T5 (2014)
         
Best US Open: T2 (2014)

Best Open: T2 (2014)
               
Best US PGA: T3 (2014)


He’s the only player here under 30, but his world ranking (nine) and Major record (he was top- five in all four in 2014) sees him make the cut. “It’s gotta be Rickie,” says Zach Johnson. “He’s actually contended in a few Majors, which would be my criteria.”

Fowler most recently set the pace with the lowest scoring round in relation to par at the 2017 US Open, but he wasn't able to keep up momentum and ended with a disappointing level-par 72 to finish six shots back of Brooks Koepka. 


MATT KUCHAR

Matt kuchar

Age: 
38
                       
PGA Tour wins: 
Major starts: 45                   
Major top- five finishes: 3

Best Masters: T3 (2012)
      
Best US Open: T6 (2010)

Best Open: T9 (2012)
           
Best US PGA: T7 (2015)

Mr. Consistency has won seven PGA Tour events and finished in the top-10 of a Major eight times, three of those in the top- five (including T4 at the Masters this year). Amazingly, all of Kuch’s top-10 Major finishes have come post- 30, as have all but one of his PGA Tour wins. Maybe you do get better with age...


BRANDT SNEDEKER

Brandt Snedeker

Age: 36
                      
European Tour wins: 1    
PGA Tour wins: 8    
Major starts: 38
               
Major top- five finishes: 2

Best Masters: T3 (2008)
     
Best US Open: 8th/T8 (2010, 15) 
Best Open: T3 (2012)
          
Best US PGA: T12 (2015)

The American has finished inside the top-10 in nearly a quarter of the Majors he’s entered, bagging eight top-10s from 38 events. He also tied the record for the lowest Open score at the halfway stage (130) in 2012.


STEVE STRICKER

Steve Stricker

Age: 
50
                                   
PGA Tour wins: 12 
Major starts: 68                    
Major top- five finishes: 4

Best Masters: T6 (2009)
       
Best US Open: 5th/T5 (1998, 99) 
Best Open: 4th (2016)
           
Best US PGA: 2nd (1998)


The perennial nearly man, Stricker has finished in the top-10 of a Major 13 times without lifting a trophy, including a tied fourth at the 2016 Open. A T16 at this year’s Masters was his second best-ever finish ever at Augusta, meaning he has now made the weekend in his last 23 Majors.


PAUL CASEY

Paul Casey

Age: 39
                              
European Tour wins: 15         
PGA Tour wins: 
Major starts: 52
               
Major top- five finishes: 2

Best Masters: T4 (2016)
  
Best US Open: T10 (2007)

Best Open: T3 (2010)
       
Best US PGA: T10 (2016)

Casey’s Major pedigree is pretty impressive considering the injuries he’s had. The former World No.3 has nine top 10s on his CV, and seems to save his best for Augusta. He’s currently on a run of three top-six finishes.


LUKE DONALD

Luke Donald

Age: 39
                                      
European Tour wins: 7
PGA Tour wins:
Major starts: 53

Major top- five finishes: 5

Best Masters: T3 (2005)  
Best US Open: T8 (2013)

Best Open: T5 (2009, 2012)
  
Best US PGA: T3 (2006)


The Englishman may have won the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic in 2011, but you have to go back 11 years for his closest call in a Major. He was co-leader at the PGA Championship after 54 holes before losing out to Tiger Woods. A familiar tale.


IAN POULTER

IJP

Age:
41
                      
European Tour wins: 12        
PGA Tour wins: 2
Major starts: 53
                
Major top- five finishes: 3

Best Masters: T6 (2015)
   
Best US Open: T12 (2006)

Best Open: 2nd (2008)
      
Best US PGA: T3 (2012)

Poults may have lost his PGA Tour card but he’s renowned for thriving on the big stage. He has two World Golf Championships and eight top-10s at Majors to his name at Majors, including a runner-up finish at Royal Birkdale in 2008.


ROBERT KARLSSON

Age: 47
                      
European Tour wins: 11
Major starts: 43
               
Major top- five finishes: 3

Best Masters: T8 (2008)
    
Best US Open: T4 (2008)

Best Open: T5 (1992)
         
Best US PGA: T4 (2011)

Given his lacklustre form over the last few years, this might seem a surprising addition to the list. But the big Swede has won 11 times on the European Tour and has even managed to net five top- 10s in his 43 Major championship starts. Not a bad record, hey.

Karlsson and bjorn


THOMAS BJORN

Age: 46
                                        
European Tour wins: 21 
Major starts: 57                         
Major top- five finishes: 
Best Masters: T8 (2014)             
Best US Open: T22 (2001) 
Best Open: T2 (2000, 2003)        
Best US PGA: T2 (2005) 

The 2018 Ryder Cup captain should really have a Claret Jug on his mantelpiece. He was leading the 2003 Open by two with three to play at Royal St George’s, but it took him three shots to get out of a greenside bunker on the 16th. Still, his three runner-up finishes


Or is it one of these?

By World Ranking... Hideki Matsuyama (4), Alex Noren (8), Jon Rahm (10), Rickie Fowler (9), Justin Thomas (13

By PGA Tour career money... Steve Stricker ($42,950,415) Matt Kuchar ($39,612,241) Luke Donald ($35,840,933) Charles Howell III ($32,551,509) KJ Choi ($31,980,652) 

Comments powered by